Mayor Pro Tem Van Der Mark is the daughter of immigrant parents from Ecuador and Mexico who came to America in search of a better life. Raised with 10 brothers and sisters, she is a self-described fighter to give voice to the under-served. She grew up in Los Angeles where she met her husband Pieter. Gracey and Pieter are small business owners. They moved to Huntington Beach 23 years ago from Los Angeles to seek safety, quality of life and a family-friendly environment to raise their blended family of 7 children. Gracey is a proud grandmother to her first grandson, Ethan.
As Gracey's children grew older she became committed to serving her community. She was selected to serve on the Measure R Bond Oversight Committee for the Ocean View School District and was asked to serve on the Measure Q Bond Oversight Committee for the Huntington Beach City School District. Mrs. Van Der Mark also served on the City of Huntington Beach Finance Commission for three years.
While serving on the Bond Oversight Committees, Mrs. Van Der Mark became more involved in local elementary school matters. As a result of her relentless research and ability to expose concerning curriculum, Gracey co- founded Concerned Parents of California, a parent-driven advocacy group. She planned, organized and executed numerous advocacy trips to Sacramento to meet with legislators on behalf of parents and children. She has been a guest speaker to parent and civic groups across Southern California helping parents understand and advocate for their children's safe and appropriate education.
Mayor Pro Tem Van Der Mark is extremely grateful for the quality of life afforded her and her family in Huntington Beach. She is 100% community focused and passionately committed to preserving our previous suburban beach community for future generations to enjoy these same opportunities.